Bachelor's Thesis

Identifying game-elements to support social presence: the effect of co-players in VR


Leona Kuse

Processing Period:

01.07.2016 - 12.10.2016



An upcoming branch concerning gaming is virtual reality. Opposed to other types of gaming VR is often called a lonely experience as it is mainly intended to be used by one person. The present paper deals with the question how the social presence oneUniversität Duisburg-EssenFakultät für IngenieurwissenschaftenAbteilung für Informatik undAngewandte KognitionswissenschaftLehrstuhl für Entertainment Computing- 2 -experiences in VR-games can be raised by applying certain game-elements with the purpose of counteracting isolation. In this case it is focussed on the effect of co-players encountered within the virtual world. Therefore, a two-player-game is developed in which one gamer wears a head-mounted-display and has together with another player, represented by an avatar, fulfils tasks in a computer-generated world. Afterwards this game is object of a study in which it is played by test persons. The accompanying avatar varies in his nature, such as his appearance, his behaviour and his interactivity, and is controlled by the investigator according to a script. It is assumed that this variation affects the experienced social presence. Furthermore, the effect of social presence on game experience is observed and self-reported information concerning feelings of loneliness is gathered. In addition, a control group playing the game all by themselves is recruited to gather information on the influence of the mere presence of co-player on the experience social presence.